Italy's daily coronavirus cases hit new daily record of 16,079

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Italy faces a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections

Italy's daily coronavirus cases hit new daily record of 16,079

Italy faces a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections

ROME (Reuters) - Italy has registered 16,079 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday, the highest daily tally since the start of the country's outbreak and up from the previous record of 15,199 posted on Wednesday.

The ministry also reported 136 COVID-related deaths on Thursday, against 127 the day before, but still far fewer than at the height of the pandemic in Italy in March and April, when a daily peak of more than 900 fatalities was reached.

A total 36,968 people have now died in Italy because of coronavirus, while 465,726 cases of the disease have been registered to date.

After declining over the summer, infections have accelerated in the last few weeks.

They are now far more widely distributed around the country than during Italy's first wave, but the hardest hit region is once again Lombardy, around the financial capital Milan.

On Thursday, Lombardy accounted for 4,125 of the country's new cases. The neighbouring region of Piedmont was the second-worst hit with 1,550 infections.

(Editing by Crispian Balmer)